Rep. Tom Davis Wants To Privatize GSA

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TimeBridge Begins Buying Spree

On May 5, TimeBridge Technologies Inc. of Lanham, Md., retained Quarterdeck Investment Partners Inc. to help the 10-month-old company explore merger and acquisition opportunities.

Nine days later, TimeBridge chalked up its first deal, buying Orabase Inc., a database designer in Denver with estimated revenue of $6 million this year. Terms were not disclosed.

TimeBridge, which provides mostly commercial clients with high-end networks and Internet and intranet solutions, also brought in Lawrence Signorelli as chief financial officer last week. Previously, Signorelli was vice president of corporate development at Computer Data Systems Inc. of Rockville, Md.

Services Hottest IT Market

Government spending on information technology services maintained double-digit annual growth from 1994 through 1997, and that ascent should continue, according to a study by Federal Sources Inc., a market research company in McLean, Va.

Services were about $11.5 billion in 1994 and hit $16 billion in 1997.

Filings with the Office of Management and Budget project a 6 percent growth rate for both 1998 and 1999, but "the government always underestimates what they are going to spend," said Robert Dornan, a senior vice president at Federal Sources.

Expect services spending to hit at least $18 billion in 1999, he said.

Anteon Bags Techmatics

Anteon Corp., a Fairfax, Va.-based engineering services firm that works primarily with the federal government, announced last week it would buy Techmatics Inc., also of Fairfax, for an undisclosed price.

Adding Techmatics' 800 employees and $70 million in annual revenue to Anteon's growing base will give the combined company 2,300 employees and estimated annual revenue of $270 million this year. The two companies said the deal should close by the end of this month.

Anteon's next big move will be to the public market, either through an initial public offering or by buying a company that is already publicly traded, according to two government information technology industry insiders.

Senate Earmarks Y2K Funds

At the urging of Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah, the Senate Appropriations Committee has set aside $2.25 billion in emergency funding to help federal agencies pay for additional costs related to year 2000 computer problems.

"It will be too late a year from now to respond to the government's needs to deal with year 2000 problems," Committee Chairman Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, said during a recent committee meeting.

"We must make these resources available now to ensure all necessary government functions are not impacted by the year 2000 problem," he said.

Bennett is chairman of the Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem. The Office of Management and Budget, the agency overseeing funding for the year 2000 software repair effort, has estimated total repair costs at $4.7 billion. Many government and industry officials think it will cost much more.

SAP Builds Public Portfolio

SAP AG's newly formed government arm is moving closer to its $50 million revenue goal set for this year.

The Waldorf, Germany-based software giant, which established SAP America Public Sector Inc. in Reston, Va., last September, has signed on two new public sector clients, growing the subsidiary's roster to 15, company officials said.

Duke University and the state of Florida, both selected SAP's software last week to manage human resources, company officials said.

Support for the Next Generation

The House Science Committee passed a bill May 13 to support research aimed at making the next-generation Internet operate at speeds up to 1,000 times faster than today's Internet.

The Next Generation Internet Research Act of 1998 (HR 3332) authorizes the government to spend $225 million over the next two years on the project. The government will work with universities and companies in the private sector developing the infrastructure needed to support faster more flexible Internet service.

The bill was introduced earlier this year by Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., science committee chairman, and Rep. George Brown, D-Calif.

A vote by the full House has not been scheduled. A senate version of the bill is in the Senate Communications Subcommittee.

Four Bills Pass Tech Week

Bills covering visas for high-tech workers, telephone company "slamming," investor lawsuits and international copyright issues were approved by the Senate last week. The Senate clustered votes on the bills as part of Congress' "Technology Week."

The bills now await votes by the full House. No votes were scheduled for this week on the House floor.

Ridge Streamlines Procurement

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge has signed a law that consolidates the state's procurement laws into a single code, streamlining how it purchases goods and services.

The new law, enacted May 15, eliminates statutory requirements, allows using technology to request and receive bids, and provides agencies with flexibility in purchasing while requiring greater accountability of them. The law will ease procurement for state employees and those wanting to do business with the state, Ridge said.

Rep. Tom Davis Wants To Privatize GSA

Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., will ask the General Accounting Office this week to conduct a study on turning the General Services Administration's Federal Supply Service into a quasi-private organization run by a board of directors.

Privatizing Federal Supply Service, which runs the GSA purchasing schedules, would free it from civil service rules that have made it difficult to hire and retain workers, said Peter Sirh, counsel to Davis. Davis will hold hearings after the GAO conducts its study, which could take several months.

In the meantime, Davis is working with Rep. Steven Horn, R-Calif., and Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., to generate support for the idea, Sirh said. Davis also has met with GSA Administrator David Barram to get his support. Barram's response: Someday, maybe, but not now.

"We are faced with the challenge of a lot of choices, which is
what we always wanted. But now we are
like the dog that caught the bus
- what do we do with it now?"

Sandra Bates, deputy commissioner, General Services Administration, on the impact of the growth of indefinite delivery-indefinite quantity and governmentwide contracts

Copyright 1998 Post-Newsweek Business Information, Inc. All rights reserved

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